Fitz and the Tantrums’ self-titled album consists of 11 songs that run together like crayons left in the sun. What’s left is a loud, colorful mess that no one wants to look at let alone deal with. Everything about Fitz and the Tantrums is bright—from the neon cover art to the piercing vocals courtesy of frontman Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick. Throughout the album there are a dozen things happening at once at a pitch that must upset nearby animals and children. A trumpet is played over what can only be described as the bark emitted by Hasbro’s iDog toy from the early 2000s while Fitzpatrick repeats “It’s complicated” over and over until he’s no longer saying words, but a vague approximation of language. This Lisa Frank cacophony continues throughout the mega-track masquerading as an album.

When Fitz and the Tantrums released More Than Just a Dream in 2013, they made themselves known as a true contender in the arena of dance-pop turned commercial jingle with singles “Out of My League” and “The Walker.” There was something a little kooky about the dizzy little tunes, but they were considered enjoyable. Every “ooh ooh ooh” mattered, each keyboard stroke added something to the mix and, most importantly, they sounded like something created by a band and not six individuals trying to shine above the rest. This consideration fell off somewhere in the last three years and FATT’s latest release does too much and says too little.

During the opening track, “Hand Clap,” Fitzpatrick periodically throws the line “Cause you don’t even know” out to his oblivious lover, but it feels more fitting as an acknowledgment of the audience’s confusion. Many of the lines are nonsensical and get even more vague and perplexing when placed next to each other. Later on in “Hand Clap,” Fitzpatrick sings, “We could be screamin’ ‘til the sun comes out/ And when we wake we’d be the only sound/ I get on my knees and say a prayer James Brown.” Setting aside the truly random mention of James Brown, these lyrics are ridiculous at best. In “Complicated,” he sings that he and his partner are, “Kissin’ like a car crash.” It’s clear that these lines were meant to sound passionate and emotional, testaments to a whirlwind romance. Unfortunately, there are middle school students writing less cliché lines for the required poetry unit of their English class. Each mention of love and devotion rings false, like they were plucked from some Psychopath’s Guide to Feigning Affection. Fitz and the Tantrums just doesn’t sound like it was written by real people. Coming from a band with an EP entitled Songs for a Breakup: Volume 1 this lack of sincerity reads as apathetic.

The combination of frenzied instruments tripping over each other and a heaping pile of useless lyrics leads to something that lacks listenability. The effect is that of the most annoying a cappella group on a college campus snorting some pixie sticks and following you around urging you to donate to their show costume fund through song. You try to run, you hope that maybe it will get better, but in the end you’re left feeling annoyed and attacked. Save yourself and wipe Fitz and the Tantrums from your iTunes library and memory.

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